Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain and a writer for The Daily Beast, has threatened to quit Twitter after a sexy self-portrait she posted on the popular micro-blogging site stirred controversy.
The picture on her Twitter page
, accompanied the words "my spontaneous night," prompted an immediate backlash from some of her 60,000-plus followers on the site, prompting the controversial but prolific McCain to post a series of comments defending herself and, ultimately, threatening to shut down her feed.
In one Tweet, she said, "so I took a fun picture not thinking anything about what I was wearing but apparently anything other than a pantsuit I am a slut, this is"
A few minutes later, she added, "why I have been considering deleting my twitter account, what once was fun now just seems like a vessel for harassment." About an hour later: "ok I am getting the #%$^ off twitter, promise not to delete my account until I sleep on it, thank you for the nice words supporters."
As of this writing, it is unclear if she will leave Twitter for good.
McCain has long been a controversial figure, angering some conservatives for her insipid commentary (see "The GOP Party Doesn't Understand Sex
") as well as her attempts to moderate the GOP position on social issues.
ABC News' Jake Tapper came to McCain's defense, Tweeting, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot people? Leave @McCainBlogette
alone. if she's not your cup of tea, move on. Yeesh. So foxtrot lame."
My contention is that quitting Twitter would be a mistake for McCain. Not only is it a huge outlet for any aspiring writer, her departure would essentially be an admission that she can't handle the heat. It would also reinforce the perception that the only reason she has this forum is because of her last name.
Writers who develop organically have time to grow a thick skin. With each job advancement comes more attention and more criticism. But just as Sarah Palin was dropped into the middle of a presidential campaign with little time to prepare for such a high-profile role, McCain was thrust into the spotlight without having developed a solid political philosophy -- or the callused ego one gets from enduring the slings and arrows fired by the public each day.
I was one of the conservatives who thought it was a big mistake for Sarah Palin to resign her position as governor of Alaska. One reason was my conviction that life is tough, and if you want to be respected, you've got to handle it. As such, I argued Palin's decision was fine -- so long as she wanted to remain a private citizen. But I thought it was a disqualifier if she wanted to run for president eventually. As they say, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Meghan McCain can be a private citizen, and that's a fine choice. But if she wants to be a commentator, she must realize that it's a rough-and-tumble world; get a helmet.
Ironically, Kathleen Parker recently authored a column titled "Republican Women, Hear Them Roar
," which listed McCain as an up-and-comer in the GOP who could help the party with young voters.
But McCain has a decision to make. She can follow the "hear them roar" road, or she can allow the critics to determine which path she takes.